The Future of the Virtual Assistant

As a small business owner, your time is valuable. To find out helpful facts about hiring virtual assistants and their benefits, you will not want to miss watching this video. Co-founder and CEO of Work Better Now Andrew Cohen sits down with Shawn Hessinger, the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends, to explain how virtual assistants can help build your brand without breaking your bank. 

Rethinking the Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business

To read more about Andrew Cohen and his virtual assistant agency, you can click here. 

Shawn: What is a virtual assistant? What does a virtual assistant do?

Andrew: That term has really morphed since we initially started. Before it meant admins and data entry located outside of our office, right? In other words, remote talent that could fill a gap in process-driven positions. 

Now that position has really transcended and changed into something greater. Everyone is working remotely because of the pandemic, and they’re able to use these virtual assistants in a variety of ways. 

Andrew goes on to say that while he sees them used in an executive administration fashion, they are also being used in business development and marketing now. He adds that he also sees VAs being used for social media channels, invoicing using QuickBooks, customer service and taking inbound and outbound calls.

Shawn: What kinds of people need virtual assistants?

Andrew: Our business motto is every business should have an assistant. Take solopreneurs, for example, since they are a type of business owner that usually can benefit from an assistant. If not, they will be spending time on repetitive, time-sucking tasks that someone else could be doing and allowing them to grow their businesses. 

Andrew mentions that one of his clients is a shipping/delivery company, and they utilize eight of Work Better Now’s VAs. Some of the tasks that these assistants perform include: 

  • Taking incoming orders
  • Conducting customer service follow ups, calls to the clients
  • Invoicing and running tabs through QuickBooks
  • Scheduling with the drivers 

Andrew explains that it is amazing what VAs can do, and the talent is out there. And finding that talent, understanding how to hire it, utilize it and implement it at your company, is important. 

He said that what his business once thought of as their target market has really transcended into something much greater because the opportunity to use remote talent has grown since the pandemic. 

For us, he says, there is no more barrier to tell people they can work virtually. We all know that—since we’ve been doing it for the last two years. As a result, we know this is what you can use a virtual assistant for. 

Shawn: What are the top tasks people use a virtual assistant for that we haven’t mentioned so far?

Andrew: If you are an executive, and you have a calendar and are setting up meetings—that takes up a lot of time going back and forth between you and the person you are trying to meet. You have an assistant do this for you. Anything that an executive assistant can do for you, those are really the top things virtual assistants can do. 

Other examples: sending out invoices, doing collections, follow ups on sales calls. For instance, you may have a call with a perspective client, and you let them know you will send them information. These are also top things a VA can do.

Andrew says that his company practices what they preach. He goes on to explain that his is a smaller company, and that 17 assistants work for them. He adds that 14 of them are in Central and South America, and those are the same 14 that they hire out to clients. 

He adds that the 14 are doing everything from social media management, to recruiting, to onboarding tasks like processing incoming resumes and interviewing candidates. 

Andrew says the company is throwing an event in New York in a couple of weeks, and that his executive assistant is doing tasks to set up the event like contacting the venues, setting up all the pricing and managing the swag the company is giving away. 

Literally all these time-consuming tasks you don’t have time for, that’s what our VAs are working on. 

In the video, Shawn and Andrew also discuss:

  • The value proposition of having a VA help with your small business—or the value in not going it alone.
  • The huge differences between freelancers and virtual assistants. 
  • Where and how to hire a virtual assistant.

Be sure to let us know in the comments how you feel about the video and whether you are thinking about utilizing a virtual assistant after watching. 

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.